________________ CM . . . . Volume XXI Number 32. . . .April 24, 2015


Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats.

Elizabeth MacLeod & Frieda Wishinsky.
Toronto, ON: Scholastic Canada, 2015.
128 pp., trade pbk., $8.99.
ISBN 978-1-4431-2820-9.

Subject Heading:
Canada-Miscellanea-Juvenile literature.

Grades 3-6 / Ages 7-11.

Review by Betsy Fraser.

*** /4



St. John’s, Newfoundland, received 68.4 centimetres of snow on April 5, 1999. That would bury you up to your waist! And Calgary has had a snowstorm every month of the year – even July and August!

On August 27, 1973, Canada’s largest hailstone fell near Cedoux, Saskatchewan. It measured 11 centimetres in diameter, or bigger than a softball. Ouch! In September 1991 a hailstorm hit the Calgary area and caused $400 million in damage.


This is a slim volume that illuminates 100 facts about Canada in 10 chapters meant to introduce readers to the things, moments in history and, more than anything, people that make the country the wonder that it is. The introductory chapter, “Uniquely Canadian”, is a list of items, such as pemmican and the RCMP. This is followed by “Extreme ly Canada”, with descriptions of Canada’s worst weather, highest tides, and most dangerous animals.

      Important historical events that helped to define the country come next in “Unforgettable Canadian Moments” in which the author explains the last spike and Terry Fox’s marathon of hope among other moments. A potential moment of confusion in a sidebar entitled “Who Joined When” with the official dates of the provinces and territories is cleared up with a page dedicated specifically to Nunavut’s joining Canada as a territory.

     The fourth section is called “High Flying Moments” of which Canada has many, including bush planes, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Chris Hadfield. A section that looks at some of the strange and interesting things and places in Canada, entitled “Who Put the Can in Canada?” is next, and it answers questions like how and why hoodoos and Kicking Horse Pass got their names.

     Readers will then find several sections that given them ample reasons to be proud of their country: “Canada Did It” shows people and inventions who have made the world a better place or just found a better way to get along; “Colossal Canada” has some of the ways that people have adapted to this country and its difficulties; “Monsters, Myths, and Mysteries” describes some of the tales and stories known and misunderstood about the country, which is followed by “Things that Make You Sing O, Canada” which has 10 stories of Canadian accomplishments. The final chapter includes places and festivals from across the country.

      Unlike many books of trivia, this amply illustrated title provides a plethora of information about many recent Canadians and information about a wide variety of places in Canada that would make it a very good book to interest reluctant readers or to use in outreach. Colossal Canada: 100 Epic Facts and Feats would be a valuable addition for school or public libraries.


Betsy Fraser is a Selector with the Calgary Public Library.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.

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